Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dancing Girls & Boys

Hi All!
Moving right along with the Spring Fling Tea Towel Swap, here is my second (of eleven) embroideries. This one is for a cool chicky named Erin. Erin currently lives in Las Vegas and I thought it'd be fun to nod to Las Vegas, but not over the top kind of way, I decided to stitch a vintage showgirl for her.

She's fabulous, dahhling!

I love her big, poofy head piece. 

I stitched this using DMC perle cotton that has a twist in it, I like the effect it gave the areas that were fill stitched. I used a brick stitch in the above picture. I had to watch my tension pretty carefully, the fabric was delicate and had a semi-loose weave, and I tend to pull my stitches rather tight. 

I like her ♥ I hope Erin likes her too.

So, dancing boys, eh?

This past weekend, I got to spend some time with one of my besties and take in a concert up where the foothills meet the mountains. We saw Bushwalla at Twisted Oak, and it was fabu! I thought I'd share a few snaps.

This was the view from our seats, and by seats, I mean low beach chairs and a blanket. This was a low key/high energy affair. I have seen many, many concerts and I have to say this was one of the best. The company, the picnic I packed for us, the location, the music and the laughs were fantastic. This will be a hard one to beat.

Oooh, he's looking right at me!
Hehe... how YOU doin'?

And then this happened. He so funny.

Like I said, low key... can ya dig it?



(Sorry for the blurry picture, but you're going to have to take my word for it, the boy was gooood!)
 The man is an entertainer extraordinaire, so genuine, so funny, so present. I don't think there was a person in attendance who didn't have a blast. Lorna and I sure did. My cheeks were aching from laughing and smiling for so long. It was great. If you have a chance to see him on tour, do it!! 

He's also awesome.
(and handsome, helloooo hottie!)

So anyways! That's what I've been up to. How bout you?

Did you moms out there have a nice Mother's Day? I didn't get to see my mumzie, she's off camping in the forest, but I hope to get dinner with her this week before I leave. I'm going to LA to spend a few days with another of my besties and see my talented, wonderfully funny pal, Ellen

So much good!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fairies In The Garden

Hi Guys,
I'm so pleased to share this bit of gardening with you today, this is a kind of gardening that's quite new for me, but so enjoyable and cute and fun and oh, why don't I just get right to it! 

A few weeks ago I started daydreaming about a fairy garden for my back patio. I've wanted to try one for several years but never got around to for one reason or another, so naturally I made a Pinterest board, ha! It really helps me to have a visual reference and a place to keep bits of information & inspiration. {I ♥ Pinterest!} Last weekend, as I've already mentioned I did a little garden shopping and gathered my supplies to create a space of my own, a happy, natural fairy garden.

Cute, aye?

But how 'bout with lights?!

Care to take a turn around the garden?

Let's start with the fairy house, it's not a real fairy house, but a birdhouse that I've had for years. I've always loved it, but now I really love it. It does the trick, don'cha think?
I can imagine a itty bitty fairy climbing in to curl up for a quick nap, Can't you? Sure, why not? Maybe I should make a little quilt just in case one stops by!

Just behind the house is a tiny tree, it's adorable, so teensy. And speaking of teensy, look at that topiary, eeep!

Next to that there's the garden arch. Gotta have one of those, right?

To the right of the garden arch, it looks like someone's been doing some planting.
 That's a real succulent, mini hens & chicks if I remember correctly.

Over in the "front yard" there's a bench for the fairies to have a little sit-down during all their hard work and have a look around the garden. Based on those empty pots, I think there's more work to be done.

My mother gave me that little bench years ago, I think she found it at a yard sale... it's been sitting on a shelf in my craft room, and was the first thing I wanted to add to the garden, thanks mom!

Looks like the sun is going down, good thing for those lights! They add a touch of whimsy, which I adore and I love that I can enjoy my garden well into the night. I can see the fairy garden glowing from my kitchen window and from the family room. The last few days I've found myself gazing at it from inside and smiling like a goober child. SO inspiring to the imagination! 

I got such a kick out of this project. I love that it's going to grow and change though out the spring & summer.
Oh baby, I'm just getting warmed up! I have all kinds of ideas planned for my little garden!

So! A few details, I suppose. I built the garden in a great big galvanized tub that we've had forever, in fact, it's original purpose was for drinks and ice at our wedding. It's sprung a leak at the bottom, so I guess it was ready for a second life as a tiny ecosystem. The new pieces of "garden furniture" that I purchased (the topiary, the arch, the fence, the watering can and the tiny set of terra cotta pots) came from the Fair Oaks Nursery in Sacramento. I used a combination of ground covers and succulents to plant my garden, I tried to pick things keeping scale, texture and color in mind. I'm pretty pleased with the way they look together, and excited to see what it looks like a month from now, two months from now, six months from now!


I hope you've enjoyed my little tour, it's been fun showing this to you and looking at the details up close. I'm by no means any kind of expert so if you have any tips, please, please lay them on me! If you have any questions about any of the specifics, ask away, I'm happy to share!


I love that so many people like and have enjoyed my fairy garden, what a thrill! This has far and away been my most popular blog post, which is both surprising and pleasing as all get out! As of this update (2-18-14) the garden is almost two years old and is going on it's merry little way growing and changing seasonally. I will definitely be doing another Fairy Garden post soon and I'd be ever so pleased to have you follow along here on the blog so you don't miss any Fairy Garden posts! I've had a lot of questions about the lights that I used and I'd like to provide a couple of sources for any of you looking for them.

I stumbled on the lights I used in my fairy garden quite by accident at my local OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) which is a home & hardware store in Northern California. I believe they were a seasonal item and are no longer available, BUT! I have located some very close alternative lights for sale on the web.

Lookie here, fairy garden lovers!

Starry Starry Lights
I believe these are the original "twinkle lights" and highly rated on Amazon, also featured on Restoration Hardware. A couple of things to be aware of ...
  1. These are NOT the lights I used, but they are very pretty. 
  2. These lights PLUG IN and require electricity. Mine do not. Mine are battery operated and were sold in the patio section of the store so meant more for outdoors, I think that's important to note. The lights themselves can get wet, but the power source CAN NOT. If you have other items in your garden that require power such as a fountain or pump, this might be a good option for you, if like me, your garden is free standing and away from electricity, perhaps not. 
  3. They're spendy. You can buy different lengths on RH and they're priced accordingly, on Amazon twenty feet seems to be the only size available. For my garden that would have been way too much, I think my light strand was 7 feet long and that was just about perfect.  
RTGS Micro Lights
These are a very close match to what I used. They are battery operated, come in six foot lengths and, hello, they're less that seven bucks (and free shipping if you have Prime). I don't remember for certain, but I think I paid about $10 for the lights I bought at OSH. These are also highly rated on Amazon. I have in fact bought a set of these very lights for another project and I think they're just fine, plus, there are color options! Warm White (which is what I bought, but I personally don't think the light is very warm), Cold White, Blue, GreenRed & Pink. Rad? Yes. 

The only other thing I'd note about these that's different than the ones in my garden is that the wire the lights are mounted on is silver, not brown/copper. Does that matter to you? I don't think it would matter to me because (having seen this myself) the wire was COMPLETELY hidden within a very short time by the mosses and ground covers in the garden. If I'd only ever seen silver, I would have bought without a seconds hesitation, I still would. Oh! As with the Starry Starry Lights, the light strand itself can get wet so watering your garden isn't an issue, but the battery pack CAN NOT. You must protect your battery pack so it doesn't fizzle out. Mine is tucked behind the fairy house and perched on a rock so that it isn't sitting in the soil. I have accidentally sprayed mine from time to time and so far it still works fine, just try to be careful and keep it as dry as possible.

I think that's about it for the lights, any other questions? Questions are totally welcomed! I'm happy to answer any that you have to the best of my ability.  I'm posting this update because a lot of people who've asked questions are "No Reply Bloggers" so I can not respond via email. I personally don't enjoy weeding through comment sections for answers (I suspect I'm not alone in that regard) so hopefully this update will help those of you still looking find your lighted Fairy Garden bliss!

I've added tons more Fairy Garden links to my pinterest board since this initial post as well, plant recommendations, furniture, decorations and loads of other cuteness, pop on over and follow along if you like this kind of thing, here is my --> Fairy Garden Pin Board <-- a=""> 

p.s. Don't know if you're a "No Reply Blogger"? Check this post!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weird & Wonderful

Hi All,
What a weekend! So fast and so fun, I love those kind, just wish they weren't quite so fast. Saturday, Jill and I went to a cactus & succulent show and sale in Sacramento, it was a neat afternoon. There were so many weird & wonderful specimens that I have to show you guys. I learned that Cactus and Succulent people are just as passionate about their plants as the orchid people are, and I learned, once again that just when you think you've seen all that Mother Nature has to offer, she stuns you with things you couldn't imagine in your wildest daydreams. 

I thought I'd share a few of these wonders with you guys today.
This one is my favorite, a prickly beauty.
This one gives me the creeps. Shudders.

Grab your earmuffs, these mandrakes look big enough to kill!

I think this is a growth mark, but I love how geometric and purposeful it looks.
This is what was atop of the preceding picture, I'm not sure if they're the bloom or flowers of this cactus, but they were absolutely tiny!

More Mandrakes, don't remove your earmuffs just yet! Heehee.

This one reminds me of the mouth of some Tim Burton creature. All jagged and dangerous, yet cartoony and odd.
I call these 'little butts'. They're giving us the moon!
Beautiful cactus blooms!

I love the soft pastel colors in this one... wish I would have bought it, le sigh.
Get a load of that line! And that was just one of the lines, there was one just like it going in the opposite direction, but with one big difference, it was in the shade! Guess which one we preferred?

After we left the cactus/succulent sale we lunched at the always awesome Opa! Opa! then went to Jill's favorite garden shop, Fair Oaks Nursery. Boy, I could do a whole post on that place, it's really one of the best nurseries I've ever visited. The place is bursting with color and inspiration!

In my next post I'm going to show you guys what I got this day, and the next at the Lodi Street Fair, and what I did with them. Hint~hint! I built a Fairy Garden!

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Little Dancing Fox

Hi There Friends,
Can you believe we're a week into May already? Whew, where does the time go?

Today I wanted to share what will be the first of 11 embroideries that I'm going to be completing over the next couple of months. Along with some of my stitchy pals, we're doing what we call the Spring Fling Tea Towel Swap. It's a round robin kind of deal, each of us are basically sending a new, "blank" tea towel in a circle around the world, each sending to the next until our towels come back home, all filled up with embroidery done by our friends. I'm so excited, it's really pretty fantastic.

The leader of the swap is the wonderful and effervescent Pam of Faster Kittykill . I've completed my first towel and mailed it off to Oregon. The first person who's towel I did is none other than my friend Jill.

Quick background, there's a place here in Lodi, the little town where I live, a special place called The Dancing Fox. This is the location Jill and I decided upon when we met for the first time. A blind date, if you will! We met during a stitch-a-long we were both participating in through our blogs. Well we hit it right off, we became fast friends that first meeting and the rest is history. You can read about our first meeting here, if you're interested ♥

Anyway, the Dancing Fox will always have a special meaning for me where Jill is concerned, so I thought for her tea towel, I wanted to do something foxy. What better way than by stitching the man(fox) of the hour, the dancing fox himself.

Here he is along with my favorite Dancing Fox wine, Fire Dance!

This is a closeup of his tiny fiddle. He plays a wicked tune.

And here is, playing and dancing a little jig.
He was a fun little guy to stitch!

So! One towel down, ten to go! I'll keep you guys posted along the way, and then again when my towel comes back to me. I can't wait to see what it'll hold for me!

Speaking of Miss Jillypants, she and I are going to Sacramento tomorrow for some plant hunting! Jill is going to help me choose plants, I'm going to build a fairy garden, weeeeeee!
I'm sure I'll be dying to show you guys about it, so stay close!

Hope you all have a wonderful, foxy weekend!